Some of us are lucky enough to turn our passions into careers, but even if you love your day job, having a hobby outside your 9 – 5 is proven to be life-changing. It allows us to fulfil forgotten passions, creates space to relax and unwind, and positively impacts our mental health and wellbeing.
You might be one of the few who don’t have a hobby, or at least a defined one, and that’s okay! We’re here to help you hone in on your interests and fill you in on the benefits of incorporating (one or more) hobbies into your life.
The benefits of having a hobby
Between your day job, socialising with friends and family, and just doing life in general, squeezing something extra into your week can feel like a chore. But the benefits of incorporating hobby time into your life are proven and varied. Here are just some of the perks that can unfold:
- Relax, actively – meditation isn’t for everyone. Hobbies are a great way to decompress, shift the focus and break up the monotony.
- Boost your brain – learning is excellent for your brain, and often, as adults, it’s easy to stagnate. Learning new skills helps our brain to form new connections and neurons and prevents the general slowing of our mental faculties.
- Supercharge your career – hobbies unrelated to your line of work can fuel business success by inspiring new ways of thinking, increasing your level of creative problem-solving, and even making you more appealing to prospective employers.
- Supplement your income – you’d be surprised how many businesses started with a hobby or passion project on the side that eventually exploded. And even if it doesn’t turn into a full-time gig, plenty of passions turn into side hustles that bring in extra income.
- Make new friends – it’s hard making friends as an adult! Shared interests are often a fast track to friendship, and friends are good for your health and self-esteem.
- Get happier – the sense of achievement (that often comes with new hobbies) releases the 4 happy hormones – Serotonin, Oxytocin, Dopamine, and Endorphins –which reduce stress and boost your mood.
How to find the perfect hobby
Now that you know the benefits, it’s time to hone in on your interests and find a hobby that fits. Here’s how to get started:
- Brainstorm your interests
Whether you love a creative outlet like painting, drawing, sewing or singing, prefer getting active with hobbies like Pilates, yoga, dancing, running or sports or are happiest with a mental challenge like playing chess, sitting down with puzzles or learning a language, think about that outlet that puts a twinkle in your eye. It’s often that thing that you love but never have time for or have always wanted to try.
- Consider your needs
Are you competitive? Do you need more physical activity in your life or relaxation? Are you craving social connection or alone time? Is there a career you’ve always dreamed of? Invest some time thinking about what you want to get out of your hobby – for example; team sport could tick the social, competitive and fitness box, while a short course in animation could allow you to dip your toes in a career change or a side hustle.
- Keep it realistic
A brand-new set of golf clubs, a pet pony or signing up for a 5-day-a-week gym membership can create more stress than benefits. It’s important to factor in lifestyle constraints like time and money when narrowing down your choices. This will help you avoid overcommitting yourself from the get-go.
- Dip your toes in
Test driving new hobbies is a lot of fun, and in the long run, it can provide you with valuable social connections, new memories and life-changing experiences. The process of trial and error comes with its own benefits that are transferable into your everyday life. It increases your ability to adapt, helps you overcome fears, gets you out of your comfort zone, and enriches your desire to try new things.
- Revisit your inner child
It’s always helpful to reflect on past interests, hobbies or activities that you enjoyed or took part in as a child. It lets you reconnect with your playful side and revisit things that previously bought joy. And who knows, those years of ballet classes begrudgingly attended as a child might now be a source of fun!
Need more inspiration?
If you’re still struggling to find a hobby that fits, give one of these a try:
- Cycling – fitness, sightseeing and sometimes socialising come together on two wheels. Either find a local club to join or strike out alone, listening to a podcast accompanied by pedal power.
- Cooking – channel your inner MasterChef and reward your skills with a delicious feast. Once you’ve sharpened your skills, invite friends or family over for a meal.
- Dancing – envy those people that own the dancefloor? That could be you! From salsa to jazz to hip hop or tap, there’s sure to be a style you’ll enjoy. And once you’ve had a few lessons, take your fancy feet out for a night of dancing.
- Book club – whether you churn through novels or prefer reading at a slower pace, there’s space for everyone at book club. It’s an opportunity to make new friends and let your imagination run wild, and it’s often paired with a nice glass of wine.
- Painting – whether you’re a total beginner or a Picasso in training, painting is therapeutic, creative, and, best of all, has no rules.
- Learn an instrument – mood-improving, stress-reducing and brain-boosting; it’s never too late to pick up the instrument you’ve always admired.
- Gardening – it’s not just for nana! Gardening is a rewarding hobby that’s easy to dip your toe in. Start with some herbs in a planter box and work up to a full-scale veggie plot as your green thumb grows.
- Volunteering – an opportunity to explore a passion while giving back, learn new skills and gain confidence. From helping at a food bank, running community events, reading to kids, or fostering animals, you’re bound to find something that fills your cup.
Jump on your hobby horse now
Don’t save hobbies up for retirement or feel like it’s too late to learn something new. Make it a priority to carve out time for a hobby – it’ll enrich your life in so many ways that you’ll soon find it’s a non-negotiable part of your week.
If your hobby encourages a change in environment, speak to your local First National Real Estate agent today. We can assist you in making the change you need to live your best life!